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Directed by Luis Llosa (1997, Columbia Tristar)
Starring Jennifer Lopez, Ice Cube, and John Voight

A documentary crew enters the Central American rain forest in search of the Mist People, but are hijacked by a snake hunter, and are terrorized by giant snakes.



1 star

November 7th, 1999 on TV  

This one has to go to the higher end of the failure rating.  But not high enough for a pass.  It definitely has more potential than Deep Blue Sea had. 

There isn't much plot, but who needs plot?  The documentary crew sets off, and not far into their trip, they meet the snake hunter, whose ship has run aground, so they take him aboard.  Soon after that, their leader is stung by a poisonous wasp, and their pilot is killed.  Hmmm.  I was never sure if the snake hunter had set up the wasp or not.  He definitely knew about the snake before the pilot was killed. 

After he hijacks the boat, they begin to get suspicious.  I think that was written backwards in the script.  But, they go along with him, because he is armed with a bigger gun than they have.  Uh, huh.  And then the snake rears its head. 

When I saw the previews, I thought the snake looked fake.  But every time I saw it, it looked better.  Still obviously CG, but still nicely done.  The way it wrapped itself around its prey was amazing. 

After Lopez shot the snakes head off, it was never clear if the second snake was actually a second snake, or if it was the first one, recovered.  By the way it recovered after being lit on fire, I began to suspect it was the same one.  Because after they killed it, they were safe again.  I guess they were told how many snakes to expect when they left port. 

The snake catcher had many lives, too, but I expected that from this kind of movie.  Most of the necessary plot turns were plainly obvious well before they happened, and even without the "scary" music they would have been just as obvious. 

And inconsistencies raged throughout the whole movie, but none were more obvious than with the snake.  It was obviously satisfied with the meal it had made of one person (or panther), and probably lay down digesting for the rest of the day.  But then, of course, when we have to get to the end of the movie, the snake devours person after person, and then regurgitates them to go after the next person. 

The movie provided many laughs, and spurred a contest as to who could pick out the moments of danger first, and that's why I called it on the high end of this rating.  But it deserves nothing more than that.


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